Stayed in train from 10 PM (Thursday) till 4 am without moving. Arrived Saint Omer 7:30 & changed here for Hazebrouck arr. 8:15 am. Here we get orders to change again & take train for Bailleul at 6:29 PM, arrive Bailleul 7:30 PM. Taken by M[ilitary] Police to billets & stay night there to await orders.
We had no tea & little breakfast. Had to use our emergency ration at noon by order of the Commanding Officer. Gendarms guarding all principal bridges all along the line. Sugar beet industry appears the chief produce.
What old delapidated houses. A striking contrast to the English Farmers Homestead. Reached Saint Omer about 10 pm. Disembarked & unloaded cars of horses & transport
Stayed around until 1:30 am cold, wet, miserable – no tea. Started on a march to a village called Balinghem 7 miles. After a hundred stops on the road we discover the Colonel has got off the track, so we about turn & march back
Oh the groans, curses & hisses from the troops. A bitter cold night & wet & tired aching feet. Many men fall out. Booming of distant guns is heard, the enemy have broke thro’ on our right & captured a village. We put up at a farm in the stables, barn & chicken houses etc; I slept in the hay loft. Time 5 am.